UN: Child under-nutrition costs Burkina Faso US$800 million a year

New York, US (PANA) - Burkina Faso loses more than US$800 million annually due to child under-nutrition, according to a new report, which says increased healthcare costs, additional burdens on the educational system and lower workforce productivity are behind this loss.

A UN statement on the report entitled, "The Cost of Hunger in Africa" launched on Tuesday by several partners including the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), stated that the study covered 12 countries and showed that under-nutrition was not just a health issue, but had broader social and economic implications.

The statement said the report found that, in Burkina Faso, more children today suffered from
stunting than a decade ago, noting that, stunting or low height for age, occurred when a
child missed out on critical nutrients while in the womb and in the first two years of life.

It said the report also noted that under-nutrition could cause lifelong consequences, including frequent illness, poor school performance and having to repeat classes or even drop out of school altogether.

It quoted Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, WFP spokesperson, as saying: "In addition, more than half of the country's adult population was affected by stunting in their childhood.

"This represents over 4.7 million people of working age who are not able to reach their full potential."

The report stressed that childhood stunting was also behind a loss of more than US$70 million in rural Burkina Faso, where the majority of people were engaged in manual work.
-0- PANA AA/MA 23June2015

23 يونيو 2015 20:12:23

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